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Emergency braking assistant: The assistant brakes faster than humans

Daimler, Continental
Emergency brake assistant - the quick helper
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State-of-the-art systems lead even without any action A braking maneuver. But currently only in the premium class. Motorists are just human too. And they make mistakes - often with tragic consequences. Car manufacturers and their suppliers are therefore providing vehicle drivers with more and more assistants.

ABS and ESP are already classics today

ABS, the anti-lock braking system, and ESP, the electronic stability program, are already classics today. As a supplement to ABS, safety research has developed brake assistants. It measures the speed at which the person behind the wheel moves the brake pedal. If high pressure is suddenly applied, the system classifies the started maneuver as an emergency situation and, in turn, acts by optimizing the brake pressure accordingly.

Results from accident research show why this is so important. Even experienced drivers do not make optimal use of the possibilities of automotive technology in the worst-case scenario. Either the brake pedal is operated too hesitantly, or - another variant of human error - the pedal pressure is reduced too early after the forceful start. In both cases, you cannot benefit from the anti-lock braking system (ABS), or you cannot benefit quickly enough, which keeps the car maneuverable despite the maximum braking pressure on all wheels.

With brake assist, the braking distance is shortened by over 40 meters

The brake assist reacts faster and better than humans in the crucial milliseconds. When the brake assistant intervenes, the braking distance is shortened by 40 percent and more when an average driver is behind the wheel, according to the Volkswagen Group's research department. Even in the VW Polo the assistant is off Work included. And even Renault's Romanian subsidiary Dacia , not exactly known for an oversupply in terms of safety features, equips its Logan comes with ABS plus brake assist as standard. From 2011, according to an EU directive, brake support must be standard in all new vehicles registered in Europe.

The pioneers of the assistance system movement - including Volvo and Toyota as well as representatives of the German car manufacturer - have already developed the helper in an emergency considerably. The younger generation of braking assistants is linked to the adaptive cruise control system (ACC), which permanently registers the vehicle speed and the distance to the vehicle in front using radar sensors, thus predicting the risk of collision. As early as 2002, Mercedes had a system ready for its S-Class that uses sensors to check the relevant area in front of the car and sounds the alarm as soon as a collision with an obstacle threatens. The brake assistant calculates how much braking force is necessary to avoid the collision. If the driver becomes active by stepping on the pedal, his assistant optimizes the pressure, even if the person behind the wheel steps too cautiously into the iron.

Brake Assistant Plus decelerates independently

In 2006 the Swabians celebrated another milestone in their safety research. For the first time in Europe they presented a vehicle in which the driver assistance system can independently initiate braking. In the event of an unavoidable collision, the automatic intervention should reduce the force of the impact as much as possible. Mercedes 'Brake Assistant Plus' - initially an option for the S-Class and the CL-Modelle reports first if there is a risk of collision optical and acoustic signals. If the driver does not react, the system brakes on its own. The assistant does not yet bring about an emergency stop. But he goes to work with 40 percent of the possible deceleration force.

Small differences in speed make a big difference

Even comparatively small reductions in speed make a considerable difference in terms of the risk of injury to the occupants: if a car hits the vehicle in front at 50 instead of 60 km /h, the impact energy is reduced by 30 percent . Also at Volvo and Audi meanwhile there are similarly unauthorized assistance systems. The Swedes have been offering their crash warning system with brake intervention since 2008 as an option at an extra charge of 2,050 euros for the models V70 , XC70 and S80 at.

In the latest development stage of the high-tech helper, a camera ensures more efficiency. While the radar sensors monitor a 150-meter zone in front of the car, the camera “keeps an eye” on the 55-meter short range. The interaction of the two systems makes it possible to calculate even more precisely whether a brake intervention is necessary, says Volvo. Audi's latest emergency brake assistant is currently available as an option, costing 2,000 euros, in A udi A8 on board. If the driver remains passive after the first autonomous partial braking, the system increases the braking pressure to 5 m /s² about half a second before the impact. By the time it crashed, the car had 'broken down' at speeds of up to 40 km /h on its own.


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